IU target Kris Wilkes working on it all this summer #iubb

Kris Wilkes feels most comfortable with his feet in the air and both hands on the rim.

But the top-ranked junior in the state of Indiana wants to continue diversifying his offensive profile.

“I used to be that one guy who would just go to the rim all the time,” Wilkes said. “After people started learning I can do that, you have to start hitting the shots. I’ve been trying to get that down more and more. I’m trying to move farther and farther out. I’ve been hitting mid-range a lot, but I’m trying to get out to 3, too.”

When he does, look out.

Wilkes has the tools and the capacity to fill a list of roles, possessing a fluid, natural skill set that has made him one of the most coveted 2017 recruits in the nation. The North Central star scored a co-game-high 19 points for the Indiana Junior All-Stars in Tuesday’s 118-96 loss to the Seniors at Bloomington South.

Driving off the wings, finishing in transition and flashing his mid-range jumper, Wilkes went 8-for-12 from the field for 17 points during the game’s final 20 minutes.

Scores of high-major programs have offered Wilkes, the No. 11 ranked player nationally, according to the 247 Sports Composite. His list features in-state rivals Indiana and Purdue, among others like Maryland, UCLA, Kansas, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Xavier.

Wilkes, the Marion County Player of the Year, is scheduled to participate in a training camp for the USA Basketball Men’s Under-18 team later this month and has plans to whittle down his list of finalists around the beginning of the new school year.

“I’m just making sure that I keep doing the same thing that I’ve been doing,” Wilkes said. “Keep attacking the rim, knocking down that mid-range and just really getting up and down the court. I’m trying to do stuff like that.”

That approach has worked well for Wilkes so far this spring and summer. In 10 games playing for AAU outfit Indy Hoosiers, Wilkes is averaging 20 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, shooting 56 percent from the field and 60 percent from inside the arc.

Playing on the same AAU team as fellow IU priority target Paul Scruggs, a guard from Southport, Wilkes and Scruggs have built a noticeable rapport. It was apparent Tuesday, too, with Wilkes’ first two points of the game coming on an early alley-oop lob from Scruggs.

“If I’m not doing it, he’s doing it,” Wilkes said. “If he’s not, I am. Maybe sometimes it’s both. I love him. We’ve been working hard together and playing for a long time. We know what each other can do.”

Indiana would certainly love to land both out of the state’s loaded junior class.

Wilkes says he’s in regular contact with IU coach Tom Crean and assistant Tim Buckley, and appreciates IU’s potential plan for him at the next level. Wilkes wants to play in transition and explode off the wings, and realizes Indiana would give him that ability.

“That’s one of the things I’m looking for,” Wilkes said. “They’ve got a good offense.”
But he’s also keeping his options open.

Wilkes said he’s planning to take an unofficial visit to Ohio State on Wednesday, followed by another unofficial visit to Michigan on Sunday.

And his relationship with IU?

“It’s pretty good,” Wilkes said. “I think I talk to Tim maybe two or three times a week. I talk to Tom Crean. He’ll send me stuff every now and then, so I think I’m getting a better relationship with them. It’s getting better.”

Just like his shot and a skill set that’ll make him a prized recruit wherever he lands.